Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stolen police car ends up in Mexico

Something a little lighthearted, to break up the usually grim news from south of the border.

An unmarked take-home police vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of a Laredo Police Department investigators residence, was stolen while the officer slept, police said.Police spokesman Jose Baeza said Internal Affairs investigator and SWAT member Victor Barbarena noticed the vehicle missing early Wednesday morning, while getting ready to go to work.

"The officer woke up and the vehicle was not there," Baeza said, adding that a subsequent investigation revealed the unmarked Dodge Durango had made its way into Mexico sometime during the night.

It is unclear whether anything else was stolen.

Investigators with the Laredo Police Auto Theft Division launched an investigation Wednesday morning.

Baeza said that as of Wednesday evening, no arrests had been made.

"Right now we are investigating the who, what and where," Baeza said. "The investigation will take time."

Baeza said the investigator is always on call and is assigned a take-home vehicle because he responds to emergency situations any time there is an officer involved.

"He is also a member of SWAT, subject to deployment at any time," Baeza said.

According to police, this is the first time a law-enforcement vehicle is stolen from the department.

"We dont have too many vehicles that go missing," Baeza said. "But like they say, it can happen to anyone, anywhere."

Baeza added he was not surprised that it was a Dodge.

"A lot of Dodge vehicles have gone missing recently," Baeza said. "My understanding is that there have been issues of (Dodge) master keys floating around. We are working on that."

Laredo Morning Times - Stolen police car ends up in Mexico ; Investigators unmarked car taken from driveway while he slept

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cartel's enforcers (Zetas) outpower their boss

Just like in Iraq the private militias tend to slip out of control of their supposed leaders over time, as the intoxication of pure power sets in. Here it seems the rabid guard dog Zeta's are off their chain.

It's not getting better there, that's for sure.

Cartel's enforcers outpower their boss

Zetas grow into paramilitary group now hitting Mexico's casinos

12:03 AM CDT on Monday, June 11, 2007
By ALFREDO CORCHADO / The Dallas Morning News

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Even in a country accustomed to gangland violence, the news is disquieting.

In coordinated strikes, armed men rob at least five casinos in four states, killing a bystander and escaping with bundles of money. In the northern state of Sonora, an attack on a police station leaves five officers dead and announces the arrival of a new criminal force in the region. The likely culprit in both cases: the Zetas, a ruthless organization that was virtually unheard of just five years ago.

The Zetas, created by a group of highly trained military deserters to work as enforcers for the Gulf drug cartel, have become so powerful that their old handlers are quickly losing control, authorities said.

The group, first concentrated along Mexico's border with Texas, has evolved into a powerful threat in its own right, spreading its brand of brutal violence into 31 Mexican states as it battles for control of new regions and key border entry points, U.S. and Mexican authorities say.

"The Zetas have clearly become the biggest, most serious threat to the nation's security," said Raul Benitez, a Mexico security expert at American University in Washington, D.C.

"Now they want to control the nation's drug routes and along the way topple the traditional cartel leaders," said Mr. Benitez. "We're witnessing a classic coup under way."

Among the newly targeted border areas is Ciudad Juárez, the city across the border from El Paso and long the stronghold of the Juárez cartel, authorities said. The Zetas also have made inroads in Acapulco, Monterrey and Veracruz, usually with a flurry of high-profile killings of police and other officials.

Working with brutal Central American gangs and former death squads from Guatemala known as Kaibiles, the Zetas have morphed into a 2,000-member paramilitary organization operating in most of Mexico, including the Federal District, Mexico City, according to U.S. law enforcement officials and academic experts who monitor the group. Mexican authorities declined to estimate the size of the force.

"The combination of Kaibiles and former Mexican elite military units forms a deadly triangle that represents the perfect threat to Mexico," Mr. Benitez said.
... story continues at link.

Cartel's enforcers outpower their boss | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | World

Friday, June 08, 2007

Four killed in Juárez in 24 hours (4:51 p.m.)

Another write up on the Juarez police killings. Usually I limit myself to one story per attrocity. But in this cases there was some interesting background material at the end of the story so I've linked it.

Here is the sectoin dealing with the Nuevo Laredo connection, where in the police are just outgunned and unable to stop the cartel army from taking care of their business, which apprently had to do with moving a body.

In Nuevo Laredo, a group of heavily-armed enforcers for the Gulf Cartel called the Zetas has been terrorizing the city, prompting a military intervention.

Torres said city police officers have also been the target of violence.

Tuesday afternoon, a one of them, Gabriel Romo, 32, a 10-year veteran of the force, was kidnapped from outside his home by a group of armed men who took him away in a van. Tuesday night, Juárez municipal police were outgunned during a standoff with 15 to 20 heavily armed men who took away a bundle, which might have been a body, found on a street in the Fuentes del Valle neighborhood. Nobody was harmed.

On May 29, gunmen shot and killed municipal officer Ismael Chairez Hernandez and state agent Jose Enrique Martinez Torres on Gómez Morín avenue.

In related news, U.S. Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said they received this week a letter from the Mexican ambassador to the United States assuring them that Mexican law enforcement efforts had noticeably reduced violent border crime in Palomas, the Mexican town across from Columbus, N.M. Several men were gunned down in the streets of that small town last month.

El Paso Times - Four killed in Juárez in 24 hours (4:51 p.m.)

Juarez on 'high alert' after multiple shootings

Another Mexican border city, another round of drug wars, shootings, and bodies in the streets. Mostly corrupt police. And to think - Juarez used to be such a nice place to go for tacos!

EL PASO, Tx. - The City of Juarez is on high alert as authorities take to the streets with high- powered rifles in the wake of several shooting deaths.

Police in Juarez are reeling from a series of violent murders and now the city is scrambling to prevent a bloody battle between drug dealers. Federal, state, and local officers are now swarming the streets armed with a lot of guns.

The situation started last Wednesday when a municipal police officer and a state officer were shot and killed with a machine gun in the Campestre area of central Juarez.

Juarez authorities tell ABC-7 $3000 was found in their patrol car, which leads investigators to believe that the two officers were working with the drug dealers.

Then Wednesday night, two state police officers on patrol were also gunned down with a machine gun. Investigators said the officers had nothing to do with drug involvement, they believe the officers were killed just to prove a point!

Early Thursday morning, another retaliation, also in the Campestre area. Two men were inside a brand new Chrysler 300. They too were killed when someone opened fire on them with a machine gun.

Juarez authorities tell ABC-7 that the car had 5 guns inside, and they men are believed to be hit men. That shooting was followed by another shooting just a block from a Municipal Police Station, resulting in the death of yet another man.

After the latest shooting, city officials said they had enough. Officials issued 360 rifles to officers on the street; plus they brought in federal and state officers, adding 200 more law enforcement officials to the streets of Juarez.

Officials have set up checkpoints all over the city. They say that vehicles with tinted windows will be searched for guns. They add that this alert will remain in effect until further notice. El Paso, Las Cruces - Weather, News, Sports - Juarez on 'high alert' after multiple shootings

Monday, June 04, 2007

Man who did not stop at checkpoint shot, killed by Army soldier

When our Border Patrol shoots people they are prosecuted and end up in jail.

We can wait for hell to freeze over, but still won't see an investigation of this shooting.

Apparently it is incumbent for the USA to treat Mexican nationals evading our checkpoints much, much better than their own soldiers treat the same behavior when it occurs on Mexican soil.

NUEVO LAREDO - A man ignoring a checkpoint northwest of the city was shot and killed by a Mexican Army soldier Sunday morning. The incident reportedly took place at 11 a.m. at the inspection station on the highway to Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas state.

The victim, identified as Héctor Adrián Salazar Hernández, 27, was reportedly driving a 2007 Nissan Murano station wagon without license plates.

Salazar Hernández reportedly began his trip in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, with a passenger whom police did not identify.

According to reports, Salazar Hernández drove past soldiers who were signaling him to stop for a routine inspection.

Reports say Salazar Hernández apparently ignored commands to stop, which prompted one soldier to fire once at the vehicle.

The bullet, reports say, first struck a radio speaker before hitting Salazar Hernández in the back.

He was taken to Specialty Hospital in Nuevo Laredo where he died Sunday afternoon.

State Ministerial Police found blood stains and a spent bullet inside the vehicle during an inspection in the hospital parking lot.

A state Public Ministry agent declined to discuss the incident with reporters Sunday afternoon.

Laredo Morning Times - Man who did not stop at checkpoint shot, killed by Army soldier

Severed Head of Mexican Politician Dumped Outside Newspaper's Office - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

The newspaper has also had a reporter disapeared this year, so they are obviously on someone's list.

MEXICO CITY — The severed head of a town councilman was dumped outside the offices of a newspaper in Mexico's Gulf state of Tabasco in what the paper's publishers said was an attempt to intimidate reporters.

The head, left outside Tabasco Hoy's offices in Villahermosa, was wrapped in newspaper inside a cooler and left by a man who stepped out of a sport utility vehicle early Saturday, the paper said on its Web site.

Police and soldiers said the head belonged to Terencio Sastre, a councilman from the nearby municipality of El Cedro, whose body was found on the side of a road Friday.

"It has all the characteristics of an act of intimidation and an attempt to silence the freedom of information that the publishers exercise," Tabasco Hoy said in a statement. - Severed Head of Mexican Politician Dumped Outside Newspaper's Office - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

Gunman attack family in minivan, kill 6 on Mexican road

Not to be confused with the other family shot and killed while traveling last week, that was as a reuslt of trying to run a police roadblock.

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Assailants armed with Kalashnikov rifles shot dead six family members, including three children, as they ambushed a minivan Sunday on a country road in southern Mexico, officials said.

The family was heading home to Mexico City after going to a party in Iguala, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the Mexican capital, said Eduardo Murueta, attorney general of Guerrero state. The assailants attacked the family's Voyager minivan and fled.

Three relatives who survived the attack were treated for injuries at a hospital in Iguala and listed in stable condition, Murueta said.

He said the attack may have been related to a personal dispute or connected to drug trafficking.

Drug-related violence has killed more than 1,000 people across Mexico this year.

Gunman attack family in minivan, kill 6 on Mexican road

War is coming to Tucson

Lionel Waxman, the columnist for the Inside Tucson Business sees the South of the Border War spilling over..

War is coming to Tucson

You are not going to like what I have to say today. But it must be said, out loud. People are whispering about it now, but if we don’t face up to it, it will only get worse.

The violent incident in Cananea, Sonora, has hit the consciousness of Tucson squarely between the eyes. Northern Mexico is in a state of war. Who is fighting? That’s hard to say. Officially, it is the drug- and people-traffickers against each other and the government. But in Mexico, you can’t tell the players even with a program. You cannot assume the police or the Army are loyal to their commands. Many are working on their own.

In case you were out of town two weeks ago, about 50 armed men drove into Cananea and killed five policemen and two other residents. The men fled into the hills with police and soldiers in pursuit. In subsequent gunfights, 16 more were killed.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel announcement saying narcotics-related “violence by criminal elements affects many parts of the country.”

It is not too much to say there is a war going on right across the border. It’s not a hot war with firefights all the time. It is not a cold war, either, with posturing and press releases. Let’s call it a warm war. Violence breaks out from time to time for reasons unknown to us, but completely unpredictable.

And here’s the part you don’t want to hear. Violence has spread across the border and has resulted in several deaths of Americans residents and visitors. Most such crimes are reported as isolated incidents. But the violence in northern Mexico is not stopping at the border. It’s headed this way and a lot of Tucsonans know it.

It is crossing the border because there is little to stop it. The Border Patrol is in virtual rebellion against its supervisors. They have felt betrayed by prosecution of some of them for what they see as doing their job. Union Local 2544 of the Border Patrol has published its position of “no confidence” in supervisory and command personnel. They have called a meeting (members only) for June 13 to consider their options.

You can’t learn about it in most media, but the whispers around town are people saying they are thinking of getting out. It looks like war and it’s coming here. No government has acted to protect Americans living in Southern Arizona. Our federal government is in full collapse as far as the southern border is concerned. All we get from them is talk. The only action we see is toward integrating Mexico into the U.S. and Canada.

What will it mean when the border is actually abandoned and anybody is free to enter without inspection? It will mean that Southern Arizona, specifically Tucson, could become like Cananea and other parts of northern Mexico. Violence will overtake local police. State and federal authorities will look the other way.

Our local news media talks about growth and how we must plan for. But these events will make those plans meaningless. When Tucsonans have to risk their lives to go to work or shopping, this city will empty out. Adequate water supplies will be the least of our problems.

The federal government should put troops on the border to defend the United States and its citizens. The troops should be given orders to use as much force as necessary to accomplish that task. No soldiers should be detailed to do paperwork and forbidden to fire on violators. This is another war and if we don’t act like it, we will lose this one too.

This war isn’t on the other side of the world. This is for our homes, our homes, our homes.

But the feds do nothing. What is happening is according to their plan. Drop in on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’s website n n and read the plans. Watch discussion of the so-called immigration reform bill, which contains legislation advancing the integration of North America. It’s happening whether you like it or not. And Tucson is on the front lines.

Contact Lionel Waxman at Waxman’s Flashpoint commentaries are published in The Daily Territorial.

© 2007 Inside Tucson Business. All Rights Reserved

Inside Tucson Business - Lionel Waxman

5 Hurt in Attack on Monterrey Police Station

I believe this is the second reported full scale attack on a police station this year. Note the use of military munitions.

Sean Mattson
Express-News Mexico Correspondent

MONTERREY, Mexico — Heavily armed assailants opened fire on a police station Tuesday morning, wounding four police officers and one civilian in the latest attack on law enforcers in the nation's most important northern metropolis.
The gunmen also lobbed a fragmentation grenade at police headquarters in the wealthy suburb of San Pedro, authorities said.

And, of course a calling card was left, as appears to be a sylistic requirement down south.

A duffel bag containing what some media outlets described as the bloodied uniform of a police officer was found near the scene of the shooting.

State authorities would not comment on the brazen attack.

Nuevo León state and its capital, Monterrey, are under siege. Warring drug cartels have been blamed for more than 70 execution-style killings in the state this year.

At least 20 of the victims have been police officers. Few, if any, of the shootings have led to arrests, let alone criminal charges. Mexico

Soldiers kill 3 children, 2 women in northern Mexico

Given the frequency with which the police in Mexico turn out to be criminals one can understand the drivers reluctance to stop. They were on their way to a funeral, it turned out to be their own. Que lastima!

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Soldiers opened fire on a pickup truck that refused to stop at a roadblock in northern Mexico, killing two women and three children, local media reported Sunda.

Report: soldiers kill 3 children, 2 women in northern Mexico